Oregon confirms first Measles Case in Northwest Outbreak

January 25, 2019

The Oregon Health Authority has confirmed a case of measles in a resident of Multnomah County. The agency is working with Multnomah County and other Oregon and Washington agencies to notify individuals of their potential exposure and help them take steps to stop the spread of the virus. The case is connected to a broader outbreak that began in Vancouver earlier this month.

No additional cases of measles have been identified in Oregon.

Clark County Public Health in Vancouver has reported 30 confirmed cases of measles. To follow its investigation and for a list of exposures in that county, visit their measles investigation page.

Most Oregonians have been vaccinated against measles and are protected. Anyone who has never been vaccinated is at much higher risk of getting measles if they come into contact with someone who is contagious.

The Multnomah County resident visited the following four public locations while contagious:

Check here for a full list of public exposures in Oregon as part of the broader Northwest measles outbreak.

Who to Call

Oregon public health officials urge people to call ahead to their health care provider if:

  1. They are not immune AND

  2. They have been exposed AND

  3. They have symptoms

Making an entry plan to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms can help stop the spread of measles.

OHA has also established a call center for general questions related to the measles. Anyone who has questions about public exposures should dial 2-1-1. The call center hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, including weekends.

Anyone with questions about measles infection or the measles vaccine should call their primary care provider or their county health department. For more information on measles for the public, please visit the OHA measles webpage or call the public health departments in the following counties:

  • Multnomah County Public Health: 503-988-3406

  • Clark County Public Health: 360-397-8021

  • Washington County Public Health: 503-846-3594

  • Clackamas County Public Health: 503-655-8411

  • Marion County Public Health Division: 503-588-5621

About Measles

Measles poses the highest risk to unvaccinated pregnant women, infants under 12 months of age, and people with weakened immune systems.

The symptoms of measles start with a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed by a rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

Common complications of measles include ear infection, lung infection, and diarrhea. Swelling of the brain is a rare but much more serious complication.

After someone contracts measles, illness develops in about two weeks, but people can be contagious days before they know they’re sick.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. People are contagious with measles for four days before the rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears. The virus can also linger in the air for up to two hours after someone who is infectious has left.

A person is considered immune to measles if ANY of the following apply:

  1. You were born before 1957.

  2. A physician diagnosed you with measles in the past.

  3. A blood test proves that you are immune.

  4. You have been fully vaccinated against measles  (one dose for children 12 months through 3 years old, two doses in anyone 4 years and older).